15 Rare and Wonderful Treasures from Belize

Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The word “treasures” usually refers to riches, precious metals and in some cases, your kids, but if you’re a frequent visitor to Belize, you know that the land is filled with natural treasures that have no equal. Belize is home to unspoiled rainforests, endangered species, ancient Mayan cities and lush beaches, so if these criteria don’t describe a nation rich in treasures, nothing will! We recommend the following 15 to begin your journey.

Silk Cayes

Silk_Caye,_Stann_Creek,_BelizeSilk Cayes: Just off the coast of Placencia Village, divers and snorkelers discover underwater jewels clinging to the Belize Barrier Reef in the vicinity of the Silk Cayes. Known for excellent water quality and modest waves, dive year round in this marine paradise.

Laughing Bird Caye

placencia belizeLaughing Bird Caye: Get away from crowds in nearby Placencia Village to kayak, snorkel, dive, scuba and picnic. When you’ve had your fill of ocean depths, spot another of the nation’s treasures: exotic birds that make this island their home.

Placencia Village

where to travel for summer vacation in belizePlacencia Village: Why is this colorful epicenter of fun and good times a treasure? Because it has everything a vacationer seeks in close proximity—water sports, Mayan ruins, nightlife and luxurious resorts like Chabil Mar.

Monkey River Village

rp_Elizabeth_Monkey_River_Welcome_650_Sign_Chabil_Mar_Belize_Resort.jpgMonkey River Village: This must-see trip balances howler monkeys with cool birds, butterflies and assorted lizards that inhabit this region. The gem-like colors of birds and butterflies will amaze you–and you’ll fall in love with those monkeys.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

cockscomb-basin-wildlife-sanctuary-belizeCockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: The world’s first jaguar preserve isn’t the only reason you’ll find this location a treasure: it’s home to Belize’s highest point, Victoria Peak, and so many colorful insects, mammals, birds and reptiles, you won’t want to put your camera away.

Chabil Mar Resort

summer in belizeChabil Mar Resort: There’s a reason travelers pick Chabil Mar over other Placencia Village lodgings when they visit: Hosts tuck guests into sea-facing villas offering the ultimate in privacy. Tropical gardens, infinity pools and al fresco dining are steps away, so you couldn’t avoid relaxing if you tried!

Blue Hole

The-Great-Blue-Hole-1Blue Hole: The famous Great Blue Hole is a one-of-a-kind diving destination that challenges even veteran divers thanks to its unique configuration of collapsed caves at the ocean floor. Celebrity Jacques-Yves Cousteau couldn’t stop talking about the geological wonders at this spot in the Caribbean. You’ll agree.

Belize Barrier Reef

belize reefBelize Barrier Reef: Charles Darwin called it remarkable and deep sea divers from around the planet find no fault with his assessment! Add this section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System to your list of not-to-be-missed jewels or your Belize itinerary won’t be complete.

Placencia Lagoon

belize manateesPlacencia Lagoon: This rich, bio-diverse wonderland remains so pristine, Jabiru Storks, Morelet’s crocodiles and some dolphin species swim amid mangrove swamps within this verdant, protected lagoon. Pair a visit here with one to neighboring Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve.

Half Moon Caye

rp_Half_Moon_Caye_Chabil_Mar_-_Belize_Resort.jpgHalf Moon Caye: If you’ve never experienced “a wall dive,” it’s time to jump in. Once you settle into the tight space and discover a world filled with turtles, rays, eels, barracuda and other marine wildlife through crystal waters, you’ll be glad you took the risk.

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

ATM-CAVEActun Tunichil Muknal Cave: Plunging into the depths of this karstic limestone cave could take your breath away. Included among the Mayan treasures found at this rare site are stelae, pottery and even skeletal remains of former inhabitants.

Belize Whale Sharks

scuba diving in belizeBelize Whale Sharks: The largest fish in the world uses the Gladden Spit off Belize’s Placencia coast as a playground at certain times of the year. Your best chance of spotting one is to visit during full moons in the months of April and May!

Xunantunich Maya Ruins

xunantunichXunantunich Maya Ruins: Ascend to the ridge above the Mopan River in the San Jose Succotz vicinity to find a Mayan ceremonial center unlike any other. The largest pyramid in Belize (El Castillo) is found here, so that alone is worth your journey.

Caracol Maya Ruins

caracol maya city belizeCaracol Maya Ruins: Caracol is a classic example of what archaeologists have unearthed in the Cayo District. Allow plenty of time to explore this huge compound, the former home of about 120,000 people!

Barton Creek Cave

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Barton Creek Cave: No list of Belize treasures would be complete without this impressive site, continuously inhabited by Mayans between 200 and 900 AD. Ten ledges near the mouth of the cave display artifacts that run the gamut from pottery shards to skeletons.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

Go Jaguars! Canada versus Belize

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015
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The first leg of Belize’s third round qualifying series will be played September 4 at BMO Field in Toronto with the second leg set for September 8 in Belize.

The disappointment of 2004 is behind us, and Canada is feeling the pressure after defeating No. 174 Dominica 6-0 on aggregate in a home-and-away series. Belize swept past Dominican Republic by a comfortable 5 to 1.

The six winners advance to Round 4, joining the six top-ranked teams: Costa Rica, Mexico, U.S., Honduras, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago. Those 12 teams will be placed in three round-robin groups, playing from November to September 2016. The top two from each pool advance to the next round.

If Belize wins we play Mexico, Honduras and either Curacao or El Salvador. Only the top two advance to the following round.

The final six teams will face off in the CONCACAF hexagonal, to be played from November 2016 to October 2017. The top three in the group will advance directly to the World Cup with the fourth country taking part in an intercontinental playoff spot.

It’s almost time to cheer the Jaguars on as they attempt to make history this week! Go JAGUARS, Go Belize!

 

 

17 Things to Do While Visiting Placencia Belize

Posted on Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

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Should you stay on mainland Belize or one of the islands? Do both by vacationing on the Placencia peninsula. Find 16 miles of beach, a lush lagoon surrounded by mountains plus access to the Caribbean Sea if you stay at one of Placencia’s coziest resorts, Chabil Mar. With their help making arrangements, the following 17 ideas should just get you started.

1. Meet the people. Placencia residents have deep roots: English, Spanish, and Mayan, to name a few. They’re charming, helpful, eager and happy to introduce their communities, so walk about and get the lay of the land.

2. Rent a beach cruiser bike. It will take you further than your feet along beautiful landscape and vistas that amaze and inspire. Placencia was once a fishing village; you’ll spots lots of era reminders as you ride.

3. Meet the Garifuna people in Seine Bight. Learn about their lifestyle through their art, music, folklore and cuisine, and you won’t leave hungry!

4. Request a dive day tailored to your specific interests by asking Chabil Mar staff to explain your trip options. The reef is just 17 miles away; spot tropical fish species so vivid, the colors don’t seem real.

5. Go whale shark spotting when there’s a full moon if you visit between April and June or dive with these gentle creatures near the Gladden Spit if you’re looking to prove your prowess.

6. Try your hand at kayaking around Laughing Bird Caye. Pitch a tent here overnight for full access to the water day and night.

7. Ask Chabil Mar staff to book a 36-foot catamaran adventure that includes either diving or deep sea fishing. Even lunches are brought on board so you don’t starve.

8. Dine at a private restaurant. Placencia families set up little home restaurants on patios that stretch along a path between the lagoon and the beach. Order the specialty of the house: stewed chicken with rice and beans.

9. Make a wildlife pilgrimage to the Placencia lagoon. This unique breeding ground hosts endangered manatees, crocodile species, marine turtles and some types of rays within this nutrient-rich wetland.

10. Your Chabil Mar concierge will be happy to arrange a Monkey River Tour that includes sailing into lush jungle to spot turtles, fish, iguanas and other local wildlife.

11. Visit Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary where jaguar, jaguarondi, margay, ocelot and puma—all five indigenous cats—roam the protected 128,000-acre jungle preserve.

12. Go bird watching, whether you’re a fan of the hobby or not. There are around 300 species in all, some not seen elsewhere in the hemisphere, like the brilliant Scarlet Macaw.

13. Climb a mountain or just stay at the base to observe water crashing to earth from some of Belize’s most photogenic waterfalls. You’ll be inspired.

14. Get wet riding a rubber inner tube while cave tubing, a sport that’s relaxing and exciting if you float into caves with prehistoric-looking interiors that also hold Mayan artifacts.

15. Take photos. Placencia sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, as are the jungles, wildlife preserves and natural wonders that never met a camera they couldn’t seduce.

16. Visit the Creole village of Independence by ferry to stroll fruit plantations. If you’re in town for Valentine’s Day, don’t miss the 50-artist Placencia Peninsula Arts Festival on Main Street.

17. Grab a map and see Placencia by bicycle. Where to get the map and the bike? From your friends at Chabil Mar. They’re so helpful, they might ride that bike to your room if you ask them to!

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Placencia and Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

Why Choose Belize Over Other Destinations? Because You’re Smart!

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2015

11831636_496616263830646_4145348460693996977_nIf you already love Belize, breaking into a happy dance each time you book a trip south is likely ordinary behavior, but this is no ordinary destination. Unlike neighboring countries, you won’t need translators to tell you what people are saying, you won’t spend half of your vacation in a van because excellent attractions are in such close proximity, and because Belize is so culturally diverse, it’s the quintessential Central American melting pot. Why choose Belize over other places? Start with these eight reasons…

Belize is manageable. It’s small enough to get everywhere you want to go in reasonable amounts of time so you’ll never find yourself comparing travel notes with friends who admit that their vacations turned out to be one long bus or vehicle ride interspersed by too-short stops at the attractions they paid to visit. Stay in Placencia Village for the most intense Belize experience because everything you seek is nearby.

Belize is culturally diverse. Only the United Nations hosts so many different nationalities! Visit and you’ll run into Mestizos, Garifunas, Mayans, Europeans, North American ex-pats, Chinese emigres, German Mennonites and if you look closer, you’ll identify many more nationalities. Given such a mix of cultures, is it any wonder Belize is called the “only true Central American Caribbean nation”?

Belize is an English-speaking country. The music is exotic. The food is ethnically diverse. But when push comes to shove and you must communicate about important matters like passports, directions, restaurants and the best places to stay, saying it in English saves time and it could save money, too. That said, you’ll be charmed by diverse accents, dialects and quaint word inflections during your visit.

Belize operates on the U.S. dollar. If you recall being told it costs 5,000 Lira to buy a glass of wine in Italy or 1,000 Francs for dinner in Paris you probably welcomed the Euro so you could travel without a calculator. Visit Belize and you won’t even have to engage your brain because U.S. dollars are welcome everywhere you go and the conversion rate is simple: $1 USD equals $2 BZD.

Belize will feed you too well. This is not the place to come and knock off pounds, unless, of course, you intend to try every active sport available and stick to fish and produce. Truth is, you’ll be spoiled by the diversity of the cuisine. Expect to find Chinese, ethnic Belizean, Spanish, Mayan and other ethnic choices, particularly in Placencia.

Belize exists between yesterday and tomorrow. Cutting edge ecological projects, green initiatives, wildlife habitats and eco-friendly lodgings thrive in a country that prioritizes respect for Planet Earth, but much of the past is ever present at Mayan ruin sites like Altun Ha, Xunantunich, Lamanai and Caracol. Book your Belize vacation at Chabil Mar  and ask team members to arrange day trips to these popular destinations.

Belize natural attractions can’t be surpassed. Explore caves and rivers, visit wildlife sanctuaries, photograph waterfalls, zip line, rappel, bird watch, dive, snorkel, fish, raft, ride horses and explore rainforests. There’s more, but if you’re in Placencia Village to relax, Chabil Mar staff is more than happy to make suggestions and handle all aspects of your itinerary.

Belize is a happening place! Stay on the mainland shore to be close to the airport or choose the tranquility and amenities of a destination like Placencia. Book your Chabil Mar accommodations, share your preferences with staff for the good life on the beach, the excitement of Placencia Village or some of each, and you won’t have to make another decision during your stay.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

 

Establish Your Zipline Credentials While Visiting Southern Belize

Posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2015

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Dreams come true for those eager to zipline rainforest canopies, which is why the popularity of this experience alone brings many people to Belize. Select Chabil Mar  as your base and enjoy some peace and tranquility before you test your mettle at any of the extreme sport trips Chabil Mar offers.

Just in case someone asks, here’s a little history to pass along: Alberto Santos-Dumont invented the zipline rig in 1906 to help transport goods over long distances and unforgiving terrains, but these days, if you look up, you’ll see guys and girls zipping by instead of boxes and bags. To make sure your Chabil Mar visit includes all the thrills you seek, ask your hosts to book one or all of these excursions during your stay:

-The Bocawina Zipline Experience invites you to see what it’s like to tackle the longest zip line distance in Belize, but only if you’re up for the challenge. If not, there are eight shorter runs interspersed by 12 platforms that provide opportunities for you to catch your breath and decide if you’d like to keep going. Gather bragging rights as you traverse 2.5 miles in total, but it’s the 2,300-foot single run that offers the most exciting memories.

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-Go night flying at Bocawina. If you thought only bats owned the night, join these nocturnal creatures by requesting a zipline ride that won’t start until after the sun goes down and the stars come out. The jungle at night is a magical place filled with sights and sounds visitors miss during the day, so if your heart is healthy, you need an adrenaline rush—and particularly if the moon is full—don’t leave Belize without taking this excursion under the tutelage of guides who know the ins and outs of this fun experience.

-Rappel Bocawina Falls. The place that sent your heart racing as you zipped along at top speed is also a neighbor of one of Belize’s top rapelling locations: Bocawina Falls. Whether this is your first or your fifth repelling attempt, the jump will be unique as you drop 100-feet into the abyss in synch with waterfalls, landing in the beautiful pools at the base. You’ve earned swim or float time in these lush pools to celebrate your rappelling accomplishment.

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-Rappel Antelope Falls. Are you eager to try the biggest challenge of all? Take a literal leap of faith by repelling down a waterfall that’s 1,000 feet high. If you plan to do this alone, your tour guide will arrange for a partner since the minimum number of participants for this activity is two. Not quite ready to attempt this height? Try the 500-foot drop first to be sure you’re ready for the big one. In either case, you’ll be escorted every step of the way by licensed guides, so put yourself into their hands for the time of your life.

This menu of adventures is not for the faint of heart, but it’s likely to offer the biggest and most thrilling vacation highlights if adrenaline rushes are your thing. Just in case you’re super-charged and have no desire to hit the beach, Chabil Mar is happy to arrange for bird watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, nature and archaeological tours.

Nobody goes hungry on these excursions, by the way. From Chabil Mar’s onsite restaurant to picnics packed for your day trips, no detail is ignored. After this much adventure, Chabil Mar will be happy to deliver you to your return flight both blissed out and eager to return.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.